Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Author Spotlight: All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry - 4 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM
Samantha was born four days before the death of John Lennon. she grew up in Dallas, playing bass guitar along to vinyl records in her bedroom after school, writing fan letters to rock stars, doodling song lyrics into notebooks, and reading big, big books.

She spends as much time as possible in the west Texas desert.

Title: All the Wind in the World
Genre: YA
Author: Samantha Mabry
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication: October 10th 2017
Cover Rating: 4/5

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry is a beautifully written western novel. That is the best way I can describe it. There are deserts, horses, maguey plants(used to make tequila), poor living conditions, fear, pain, love, hate, life and death. This novel contained things that I never thought I would enjoy in a book. I am not huge on horses or farms or anything that has to do with the things in this book. But, somehow, I ended up enjoying the story more than I thought I would.

Our main character is Sarah Jac. Her are her 'cousin' James are living the life of migrant workers. They hop from farm to farm cutting plants to make a little bit of money to save for their big plan. They aren't really cousins but they pretend to be in order to keep each other safe from jealous, angry workers. Jealous and anger make people do some pretty crappy things. After an incident at their last ranch, Sarah Jac and James end up at a new ranch, The Real Marvelous. But there are problems with this ranch. Problems that involve curses and death. Lots of death. 

The world this book takes place in is our world but not at the same time. I had a problem telling whether this was a future or past world. There was no technology but the way Sarah Jac would describe things, especially Chicago, made it seem like the world was ending. Droughts and small wages and poor living conditions. But at the same time when she was describing life with her grandmother it seemed like the book was from the past. 

In the end, I did struggled to read this book, but only because some of the scenes were hard to get through. There was so many sad and painful things that the people in this book went through just to make a few pennies. Knowing that people actually live like this every day was pretty hard to swallow. Aside from that, the ending was very difficult. Sarah Jac was hurt and ready to accept death. James did some pretty horrible things. But somehow, both of them ended up in a pretty decent situation after some pretty terrible events.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

1) If you could bring any of your characters to life, who would you pick and why?
There’s a character in A Fierce and Subtle Poison named Rico. He’s one of Lucas’ best friends, and he curses a lot and drives a scooter. I’d like to meet him, I think. We’d get in trouble together.

2) Tell us 5 random facts about yourself:
I’m an amateur welder (I make/hope to make furniture). I used to be a yoga teacher, but I’m still not very limber. I’d rather be in a hammock strung up between two trees more than anyplace else in the world. My favorite food is birthday cake, like a big white sheet cake with super-sugary white icing and super-sugary purple and red icing flowers on it. If I have a pattern, I can knit and/or crochet almost anything.

3) Where did the inspiration for All the Wind in the World come from?
The inspiration for All the Wind in the World came from several sources, but two main ones: far West Texas, where it’s dry and rugged and beautiful, and an old(ish) film called Days of Heaven, which is romantic and sad and rugged and beautiful.

4) If a future version of yourself went back in time to when you were a teenager and told you that you were going to be a great author, would you have believed her?
Oh…maybe? I had high hopes for myself! I knew I wanted to do something great and creative and that was meaningful to people. But I was teenager, I wanted more than anything to play bass in a famous rock band and tour the world. So, I thought I might become a great bassist, not so much a great author.

5) Are you currently working on any new books?
Sort of? I have a couple of things cooking: a ghost story set in San Antonio and a tale about bandits. Both are in very, very rough, though and exist mostly just in my head still.


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